It is relatively simple for an employer, without even realising it, to have policies or apply practices which unlawfully discriminate.
The law in respect of discrimination protects
- workers and sub contractors
- potential employees
- employees who have left the business
You as the employer can be liable not only for your own acts or omissions, but also of your employees and workers! It is not merely confined to the business owners and management, it extends to all those acting in the course of the business.
It is therefore vital you have a relevant and operational equal opportunities policy in place. That policy needs to be correctly communicated so everybody should be aware of their responsibilities. We can prepare for you bespoke equal opportunity policies tailored to your business needs and can assist you in ensuring it is communicated to all relevant personnel.
Common examples of where discrimination maybe an issue:
- Can you justify why you did not employ a particular job applicant? You can be liable before entering any contractual relationship!
- Is an employee's under performance caused by a disability?
- Are there any reasonable adjustments you could make to enable the employee on long term sick to return to work?
- Can you justify not allowing the employee to work flexibly on her return to work from maternity leave?
- Does the business bonus scheme discriminate against disabled staff or those on maternity leave?
- Does the proposed change in hours cause any problems for females with childcare responsibilities or any staff with particular disabilities?
Reasons to get your equal opportunities policy right:
- compensation for unlawful discrimination is uncapped
- awards are often higher than other employment law claims to reflect the injury to feelings
- it can reduce your chances of finding yourself in the employment tribunals in the first place
- a discrimination claim often 'piggy backs' the substantive unfair dismissal claim (to increase the award)
- happy employees
- adverse publicity
We will assist you in ensuring that you do not fall foul of the anti-discrimination laws and help you deal with any complaints of discrimination. We will guide you through the complex nature of discrimination law to help you avoid a costly Employment Tribunal claim resulting from your inadvertently discriminating.
We are here to help you. Please contact me Amy Ross-Sercombe, on freephone 0800 083 0815 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org